After two consecutive years of destructive wildfires, the provincial government has dramatically increased funding for BC’s wildfire management.
Funding for wildfire programs, prevention, and management has increased by 58% compared to 2018, bringing its total budget to $101 million.
- Over 30 new wildfires are raging on Vancouver Island
- 18 photos of what Victoria looked like before and during the wildfire smoke (PHOTOS)
The additional funding will be used to add more crews, enhance aerial capacity, and acquire new technologically advanced equipment. This summer, night vision goggles will also be piloted by firefighters for early detection and response purposes.
To help prevent wildfires before they start, an additional $10 million comprehensive prescribed burning program will also be implemented.
Existing programs also get a boost
Millions of dollars from the increased funding will be used to supplement two existing programs: one which focuses on community protection, and one that supports reforestation.
$10 million will be added to the Community Resiliency Investment program, which will help local governments and First Nations lower wildfire risks around their communities.
Meanwhile, $13 million will be given to the Forest Carbon Initiative over the next three years, and will be matched by the federal government.
The money will be used to support reforestation and restoration initiatives that will capture carbon from the air and reduce the risk of wildfires.